Brief for a Successful UX Translation Project

Before starting a UX translation project, the translators must have a comprehensive understanding of your company, the products or services you are marketing, and the target audience.

To get the big picture, detailed information about the following points is useful:

1. Project goal

What do you want to achieve with the project? Explain, what you want to do, how you want to do it, and why.

2. Brand identity

Describe your brand. How do you define your company’s identity? What makes you different? How do you want to present yourself and your products or services to your German target audience? Bear in mind, that the brand defines your company’s identity, and it is essential in creating the framework for the communication approach and content strategy. The brand identity shapes the story that the company is telling its customers about its product or service, it is a recurring theme, that will eventually create brand awareness in the new market.

3. Tonality or voice

Another important thing is creating a voice for the brand. What works better for your project: the formal Sie or the informal du? This is a tricky question – in German marketing, they are in a plain transition from Sie to du, so there is no one-size-fits-all answer to that and the decision highly depends on the company’s tonality and the target groups.

Think about your company’s tonality and decide whether you want to come across as serious, secure, business-like, or you prefer to be playful, easy-going, inventive, creative, strong, glamorous, attractive, etc.

4. Target audience

It is very important to get a clear picture of the audience you want to reach. Appealing language, CTA’s and tooltips at the right places and other things are needed to grab the attention of your audience and keep it, otherwise, they will lose interest in a matter of seconds and go to a competitor that offers a better user experience. The profile you provide should include detailed information about age range, gender, socio-economic status and interests. A target audience description such as “German users on our website” won’t help to create successful user journeys and user flows.

5. Target market

Why did you choose the German market and what are your expectations? Please share any market-specific information that might have an impact on the UX copy. Are there any legal and compliance aspects that should be taken into account? Is it forbidden to use certain wording? Is the company obliged to include specific information about its products in the German market? Don’t forget that the source copy, more often than not, does not cover all the requirements for all the markets in which the company is operating. And last but not least, who is your strongest competition in Germany? If possible, name at least three companies.

6. Product / Service

Please provide product or service descriptions with high-level features, user workflows and exceptions. For efficient UX translations, links to the pages where the design is crafted are necessary and it’s helpful to have a “copy playground” where the translator can check how the copy in the target language fits into the design. Bear in mind that, especially when translating from English to German, the German copy usually is a lot longer.

Jelena Morgan

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